RAI Reveals Post-Acquisition Leadership Team

Debra Crew to remain as president and CEO of RAI.

Reynolds American Inc. has announced its proposed leadership team after the anticipated third-quarter acquisition of RAI by British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BAT).

Debra Crew will remain as president and CEO of RAI. Should the acquisition be successfully completed, she will report to Nicandro Durante, president and CEO of BAT.

Andrew Gilchrist, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer of RAI, has indicated that, in the event of the completion of the proposed acquisition, he intends to resign from the company shortly thereafter. Gilchrist’s replacement will be named in the future, and will report to Crew.

Should the acquisition be successfully completed, the majority of RAI and its subsidiaries’ senior executives will remain with the RAI companies. The executives who plan to remain, and their titles at RAI or one of its subsidiaries, will be as follows:

Michael Auger, president of RAI Trade Marketing Services Co.;

Lisa Caldwell, executive vice president and chief human resources officer of RAI, RAI Services Co. (RAIS) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJRT);

Joseph Fragnito, president and chief commercial officer of RJRT;

Carolyn Hanigan, president of RAI Innovations Co.;

Nancy Hawley, executive vice president of operations of RJRT;

Daniel Herko, executive vice president of R&D of RJRT and executive vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs of RAIS;

Martin (Mark) Holton III, executive vice president of legal and external affairs and general counsel of RAI and RAIS;

  1. Winton Jennette, senior vice president of strategy and planning of RJRT;

Kevan Ostrander, vice president of information management of RAIS; and

Mark Peters, senior vice president of decision support and transition planning of RAIS and chief financial officer of RJRT.

“I’m delighted that so many of our companies’ strong, seasoned leaders will remain in their roles following completion of the proposed acquisition,” Crew said. “As a group, we are committed to our shared vision of transforming the U.S. tobacco industry, and we are confident that being part of a much larger, global organization will enable us to achieve this vision and amplify our success,” she said.

In the weeks ahead, a new executive vice president of consumer marketing for RJRT is expected to be named, as Cressida Lozano, the current executive vice president of consumer marketing for RJRT, has indicated that, in the event of the completion of the proposed acquisition, she intends to resign from the company later this year.

In addition to Gilchrist and Lozano, Brice O’Brien, the current executive vice president of public affairs and chief communications officer, has indicated that, in the event of the completion of the proposed acquisition, he intends to resign from the company shortly thereafter. Following such departure, his responsibilities will be assigned to Mark Holton, in addition to Holton’s continuing role as RAI’s general counsel.

“Our companies owe Andrew Gilchrist, Brice O’Brien and Cressida Lozano tremendous thanks for their leadership and commitment to our shared success,” Crew said. “Should these resignations occur, we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

RAI’s acquisition by BAT is subject to approval by both companies’ shareholders as well as other customary closing conditions. RAI continues to expect the transaction to be completed in the third quarter of 2017.

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Young Executives Organization (YEO) Builds with Habitat for Humanity

YEO Members were joined by Maverik employees in Provo, Utah to help frame a new house, build a new fence and lay thousands of pounds of concrete in team-building exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following slideshow includes photos from the Habitat build as well as the YEO Roundtable event.

 

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Wells Fargo Outlines Tobacco Sales Trends

Smokeless a “bright spot” while e-cigarette sales remain impressive.

Wells Fargo reported that cigarette dollar sales increased +1.1% during the four-week period ending May 20, 2017 (vs +0.7% for 12-weeks) as strong +5.6% pricing successfully offset weakening cigarette volume trends (-4.2% vs -3.8% for 12-weeks).

“We expect adult tobacco consumer resilience to continue through the year even as total cigarette industry volumes decline toward the high end (we project -3.8%) of historical norms of down 3-4%,” said Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Bonnie Herzog.

Meanwhile, smokeless tobacco dollar sales remained a “bright spot” with consumers responding positively to brand extensions. Smokeless tobacco dollar sales grew +4.1% this period (vs. +4.2% 12-weeks), reflecting strong consumer loyalty to the category and acceptance of the latest line extensions.

“Importantly, sales of Altria’s Copenhagen did very well increasing +8.3% (vs 7.9% for 12-weeks) and outpaced Reynolds America Inc.’ Grizzly (+8.1%) despite the USSTC recall in January (close to resolved),” Herzog noted.

Electronic cigarette dollar sales across all channels “remained impressive” at 32.5% driven by exceptionally strong +12.3% pricing (vs +9.2% for 12-weeks) and +18% volume (vs +22.4% for 12-weeks). RAI’s VUSE maintained leadership at 34.5% market share supported by strong pricing and volume gains.

Cigar dollar sales remained solid +11.3% (vs 11.6% for 12-weeks) led by No.1 Altria’s Middleton (+12.4% volume/+0.4% pricing) and No.2 Swisher (+7.0% volume/-0.8% pricing).

 

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7-Eleven Brings Back ‘Operation Chill’

Local police officers give out free Slurpee coupons to reward kids.

Children have the chance to earn free Slurpees this summer while having positive interactions with law enforcement.

For the 22nd year, 7-Eleven is again teaming up with police and sheriff’s departments to distribute free Slurpee drink coupons to children and youth through its popular Operation Chill community-service program.

During 2017, 7-Eleven will issue up to 1.33 million Slurpee coupons to almost 1,000 law enforcement agencies which, in turn, will distribute most of those during the summer months and back-to-school season.

“The Suffolk County Police Department’s partnership with 7-Eleven’s Operation Chill program is a unique way for our officers to engage with the youth in our county,” Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Commissioner Timothy Sini stated. “Interacting with our community’s children in positive ways is an important element of what our officers do daily. We appreciative 7-Eleven’s commitment to providing an additional way for officers to make a positive impact and look forward to our eighth year ‘ticketing’ young children and teens when caught doing acts of kindness.”

Big-city departments and small-town forces alike use the Slurpee coupons to enhance relationships with the young people of their cities by rewarding them for good deeds, constructive activities and acts of kindness. Appropriate “offenses” might include helping another person, deterring crime or participating in a community- or police-sponsored event. Although the reasons for being “ticketed” are varied, the end result is the same for every youngster: a free Slurpee drink and a smile for being a good kid. Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven stores.

Begun in Philadelphia to give law enforcement officers a positive reason to interact with children and teens, Operation Chill has expanded to cities across the country. Since the program’s inception in 1995, more than 19 million Operation Chill coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in areas where 7-Eleven operates stores.

“Year after year, Operation Chill is our most popular community service program,” said Mark Stinde, vice president of asset protection for 7-Eleven. “Kids love Slurpee drinks, and police officers love having a reason to approach kids and surprise them with a Slurpee coupon as a reward for doing something good. And we, at 7-Eleven, love helping them make those important connections in the community.”

7-Eleven’s proprietary Slurpee semi-frozen carbonated beverage has generational appeal with slurpers both young and old. More than a half-million Slurpee drinks are purchased each day during the summer at 7-Eleven stores across the country. This summer’s flavors include Chrome Cotton Candy and, for Slurpee Lite, sugar-free Watermelon Lime made with all natural flavors.

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Wenzel’s Farm Unveils Brand Redesign

Packaging and point of purchase to highlight Wenzel’s Farm’s continued commitment to producing quality, healthy snacks.

Wenzel’s Farm, a producer of small batch, hand-crafted and naturally hickory- smoked meat snacks has announced a complete redesign of its brand.

The company, which has been producing quality Wisconsin meat products since 1949 has undergone a complete brand transformation, with new logo, website, packaging, in-store point of purchase, and social media presence.

“Wenzel’s Farm has been an icon in its home town of Marshfield Wisconsin, and across the upper-Midwest for over 60 years” stated Wenzel’s Farm President Mark Vieth. “Although our logo and branding has been refreshed, our customers will still find the same great tasting, hand crafted, small batch meat snacks that Wenzel’s is famous for.”

In addition to the new look, the packaging and point of purchase will highlight Wenzel’s Farm’s continued commitment to producing quality, healthy snacks, with call outs on key product attributes such as Naturally Smoked, No Artificial Colors, and Gluten and MSG Free.

The new branding efforts debuted at the Sweets and Snacks Expo, May 23-25 in Chicago.

 

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